Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hemming/Repairing Woven Blankets

We bought these beautiful woven throws in Morocco. Although I love the look of the existing frayed, natural edge, they were beginning to unravel which is not exactly in synch with my plans of our 2 boys having their cherished moroccan souvenir 10, 20, and even 30 years from now!

I searched the internet for how to deal with this, but came up empty-handed. I then realized the solution was actually quite a simple hem.

The original edge

Zigzag stitched along the frayed edge

Clipped the frayed edge close (but not too close!) to the newly zigzagged edge

Folded the cleaned up edge inward (about 1/4 inch)

Folded this same edge inward again to create a slightly rolled edge

Pinned the rolled edge in place

Straight stitched (by machine) as close to the inner fold as possible

The completed hem

Because of the weave you can't even see the stitching which works for me! Hopefully this makes for a more durable blanket.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mollie Makes...

It is my poor judgement, or "good taste", or both, that brings me to always favouring the much more costly, international magazines. Grrrr. They aren't always easy to find, a store will get one issue but not the next, a subscription costs 'an arm and a leg', and certain mags have a large percentage of info that simply does not apply in Canada (eg. gardening, permaculture, home design).
...And yet...
They are always the more attractive covers, more DIY, more beautiful photographs, and, not to mention, all the deliciously tempting items unavailable to you for purchase and often impossible to get (Perfect case in point). Ah yes, the unattainable, that must be the draw.

Anyway, once again, an extremely beautiful, slightly expensive magazine has revealed itself to me. I picked up a copy in Scotland for 4 pounds, and have found a couple older, random issues here (NOT 4 pounds).

The four words found on every cover - Making, Thrifting, Collecting, Crafting - Too perfect.

Remember this magazine? The one I could not justify spending the crazy amount of money required for a subscription? At the time I thought that no mag could justifiably cost this much... I was wrong.

I did it. I subscribed. My first (via mail) issue just arrived.


Friday, February 24, 2012

{This Moment}

{This moment} is inspired by Soulemama, and beautifully done by so many. It reveals a moment from our week that is special enough to stand alone, without need for expression, or explanation.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crocheted Baby Blanket - A year in the making

Aha! Finished and it isn't even his first birthday yet. That's less than a year to crochet a blanket - believe me, this is amazing for me.

I started knitting this blanket during the week my son was too cosy to brace us with his presence and decided, as his brother before him, that he would take an extra week of belly livin'. The project was ignored for a while after that, as many were, until I finally picked it up again, took it all out and decided to crochet instead as I thought I would be "quicker" at crochet. HA! Well at least I finished it. I think I'll hit up some very satisfying quick and easy projects for a bit now and give myself a break from the major commitments...

Here's the only pic I could manage of my little freedom loving babe with his new blanket.

The specs:
Cloud Cotton Eco
Colour Code: 106, 115, 117 (Don't know which is which, but the colours are a cream, a light brown, and a light green).
Chain 108
*(Light Brown, 6 rows, DC. Green, 6 rows, DC)
*Repeat this sequence 3 more times
Light Brown, 6 rows, DC
One row single crochet - Cream
One row double crochet - Cream
One row single crochet - Brown
Approximately 29" x 36"

A few awesome ideas for crocheted baby blankets just popped up over at Fun Fabrication!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Choosing A Stroller

After we had finally settled on where to spend our 3 months of travel this past year (thanks to parental leave), it was time to decide what to bring. Our time would be split between Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Germany, and Scotland, traveling overland as much as possible, and using local transport at each location. The biggest and most difficult decision seemed to be regardng what configuration of wheels we would bring to carry our two young boys about.
A double stroller? One umbrella stroller? Two single umbrella strollers? No stroller at all??

Our past experience with Europe and a stroller was THIS, which led us to our no double decision. The sidewalks simply aren't wide enough in most areas, and with the insane number of stairs we had to tackle, the weight of a double stroller would have been exhausting. I wondered many, many times what someone would do stroller-wise with twins, and then I saw a couple of sets within a few days - both had enormous side-by-side double bassinet/carriage strollers. In both cases I wondered if they had materialized to the location, as only God knows what sidewalk they took to get there...

Bringing no stroller at all was not an option mainly due to travel days and busy crowds. With us each carrying a heavy pack on our back, one of us with a smaller but still weighty pack on our front, and the other with a baby on our front, our older son (2 years old) needed to be safely contained in a stroller to allow us to rush along to catch a bus, plane, taxi, or train. With that kind of extra load on our bodies, chasing a two year old was not an option.

Two single strollers seemed like a royal pain in the butt. It was likely that Levi would want to spend most of his time walking anyway. This option would insure that both of us would be pushing a stroller at all times - empty or not. Boo to that.

What we finally settled on was the same hearty umbrella stroller we brought to Italy, and an Ergo carrier. Looking back, it was the best decision. The sidewalks everywhere were as expected - often narrow, packed with people, frequently with high curbs and crazy obstacles, and sometimes non-existent. When you are without sidewalk you better hope you have the tightest little stroller ever because cars are not inclined to share their space with you.

The Ergo was great (again). We were still able to carry our 2 year old son in it, as the weight limit is 40 pounds. Sometimes, we would go out with Owen (6 months old) in the carrier and Levi walking, which meant no stroller at all. It was very freeing to venture out without wheels!

Our stroller was borrowed from my husband's mom when we went to Italy, and yet still, there it sat conveniently at our home 14 months later as we left for this trip :) - Thanks Mama D! The brand is Avalon, and it is fantastic. Full recline, and a large basket underneath are it's greatest assets, not to mention that it has seriously had it's ass kicked (Jim made a small repair this past trip) and still it hung in there for us. It is, sadly, on it's last leg but has served us more than well! We saw many, many Maclaren strollers and will probably seek one out for our next trip, but this little Avalon is comparable in weight, size and features. I just don't know where you would find another.

*I should add that we also brought a very compact sling with us which came in handy at times when it was helpful to carry both babes, particularly after going through security at the airport, or while hiking.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


You can find the fabulous recipe for this tasty family tradition HERE. As for recreating the brilliant icing/sprinkle artistry? You're on your own.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Where Are You Winter?

We have had amazing weather lately. Since winter, as we know it, has been somewhat absent I was starting to get antsy for Spring!

Let's be real though. We all know March is hammer-time for snowfall in these parts, and we're expecting a pretty decent drop in temperature through the night so we shall see... There may yet be snowball making, sledding and the brushing off of cars!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hemming Jeans With The Original Hem

I gave this a try on a new pair of too-long denim's I had bought and I'm happy with it. Unfortunately I hemmed them shorter than I feel a pair of bells should be! The beauty of this hem is I can (but really don't want to) take it out and try again as the excess fabric is still there. I'll probably let them irritate me for a week or so before I can't take it anymore, and then go to the trouble of fixing them.

I felt the excess material would become bothersome, and so I ironed the material up the leg of the jean and machine stitched "in the ditch" of each side seam. I considered a small hand sewn stitch around the perimeter but, it would take much longer than you want a hem job to, and you might end up with little dimples around your pant leg.

This works very well for a pant with a wide hem and I would definitely do it again.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Tad Tardy on the Baby Food

Oh the second child... It was all about timing. Levi was fed almost entirely homemade baby food, whereas with Owen we have been away from home from when he was 6 months old up until just under 4 weeks ago. Needless to say, he has been living off jar food until this week. Figures that he can finally enjoy basically whatever we eat and now gets a whole pile of baby food made for him!

Anyway, you can't go wrong with homemade apple sauce. All you need are apples and a touch of cinnamon. He prefers it far more than the alternative, so it was worth it.

He seems to be loving the Cheeky Chickpeas as well. Levi was a big fan. The recipe is from Lianne Phillipson-Webb, registered nutritionist and founder of Sprout Right. She teaches workshops in the Toronto area. My sister-in-law took a class with her and loved it. Being a little outside of Toronto I opted to buy her dvd's which teach the same basic steps as the workshops and provide you with the recipes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Postcards From Fes

The Moroccan people were definitely something to write home about.
For how many times I had heard before visiting Fes that we would find it incredibly overwhelming due to high pressure from touts - namely medina "guides" - we truly never did. There have been many times on our travels, since having Levi, where I wondered if we would be experiencing the same level of care and politeness had we been without a child - our experience in Fes may be a perfect example of this. This isn't to say we were never approached for various reasons, but no one really persisted beyond our "no thank you".
There were at least 2 or 3 people, at different times, to approach simply to tell us "blessings on your beautiful children" and "may they be protected, in sha'allah (God Willing)". Each person to say these words to us expressed them with a great deal of emotion. They really meant it, and we really felt it. Very unexpected, and highly appreciated. This at a time when our defenses were down - we were sick, we were tired and, in turn, very concerned for our babies.

We owe Fes another shot, and we will make sure we give it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny from Small Things this week.

Love, love, Loved this book. I kept it close at hand, so I could pick it up at a moments notice to read a quick page or two on everything from baking and sewing, to travel and art. Great writing, and just a pleasure to read. It is broken up into so many brief articles, which makes it an ideal read for a mom of two very busy little boys.

As for the project up above? Well, this little bit of hook-work is quickly becoming the longest running project. Ever.